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"Annual Log Drive on the River"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The harvesting of logs reached a peak in the first decade of the 20th century. George Van Dyke, whose recent death is eulogized here, owned the Connecticut Valley Lumber Company. It was one of the large timbering firms created in the late 1800s that began systematically harvesting timber from upper New England. The resulting deforestation, not only in New England but all over the country, gave a huge spur to the conservation movement. This movement was begun by President Theodore Roosevelt during his two terms as president (1901-09). Roosevelt, along with Division of Forestry head Gifford Pinchot, sought to regulate timber harvesting. The first steps to prevent widescale deforestation were taken. It was not until the 1960s that any serious effort was made to stop poorly conceived timber harvests and regulate the taking of lumber in the United States.
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